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City Seeks to Limit Art Vendors in Parks

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Artists are mobilizing against a new Parks Department rule that limits the number of vendors who can sell art and printed matter in four Manhattan parks. Under the proposed rules, artists would compete on a first come, first served basis for designated spots in Union Square, Central Park, Battery Park, and the High Line.

Robert Lederman heads an advocacy group for street artists. He says the restrictions will harm independent expression in the parks without relieving crowds or congestion.

"Instead of real artists, you'll have some corporate-type gallery, or a print publisher will buy an art concession. It’ll take up exactly the same amount of room the artists are taking up," he says.

Lederman says he and other artists are planning a campaign of civil disobedience if the rules go into effect. A public hearing is scheduled for April 23.

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